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Mats Zuccarello Injured in First Game, Out at Least Four Weeks

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Sigh...

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

At 5 AM this morning, Mats Zuccarello jumped on a plane to Chicago to join the Dallas Stars and play his first game with his new NHL club. Less than 12 hours later, he exited the game with an upper-body injury, and is now expected to be out for the next month or more:

Zuccarello was electric in his first appearance for Dallas, netting a primary assist and a goal in the Stars’ 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. However, in the dying seconds of the Second Period, Zuccarello blocked a shot and headed to the locker room early:

The puck looked like it hit Zuccarello’s hand, and the forward later confirmed that he is afraid his arm is likely broken:

The Stars obtained Zuccarello from the New York Rangers last night in exchange for a 2019 2nd round pick and a 2020 3rd round pick. If the Stars make the Western Conference Finals, then the second becomes a 2019 1st, and if they re-sign Zuccarello, the third becomes a 2020 1st.

Unless the injury is more severe then initially thought, Zuccarello should still be back in time for the playoffs. In the meantime, Dallas needs to make sure they actually make the playoffs. With several teams hanging around the Western Conference playoff bubble, Zuccarello was supposed to be the scoring help Dallas needed to lock up a spot. Now they’re right back where they started in the short-term.

After trading for Zuccarello, Stars General Manager Jim Nill said that Dallas wouldn’t make any more trades. But now it looks like he’ll have to go back to the market to acquire additional help. And he has less than 24 hours to do it.

Better start calling, Nill.